the underground railroad trailer

What if the Underground Railroad wasn’t a metaphor but an actual, physical railroad, complete with engineers, conductors, and secret tracks? That’s the premise of  Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad, and the premise of the new Amazon series that adapts it. Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins directs the 10-episode series that looks pretty damn great, and today a new teaser trailer arrived along with the official premiere date.

The Underground Railroad Trailer 

Several teasers have been released for The Underground Railroad so far, and they’ve all been stunning. But they’ve also been a bit abstract – mostly showcasing the gorgeous visuals along with the equally gorgeous score from Nicholas Britell. This new teaser trailer is a bit more traditional, but it continues to suggest that the new Amazon series from Barry Jenkins is going to be an absolute must-see.

Based on the award-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad “chronicles Cora Randall’s (Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught. As she travels from state to state, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realize a life she never thought was possible.”

The full cast includes Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Pierre, William Jackson Harper, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Lily Rabe, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter, and Peter Mullan. Barry Jenkins is both showrunner and director of all ten episodes of the limited series. He also executive produces along with Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Richard Heus, Jacqueline Hoyt and Colson Whitehead.

“This show isn’t a show about slavery. It’s a show about the character Cora,” Jenkins said in a past interview. “I think when we talk about slavery, in a way, we almost dehumanize the folks who were enslaved against their will. We almost rob them of their personhood. We assume the condition of being enslaved was the totality of their experience and the totality of their humanity.”

The Underground Railroad will premiere on Amazon Prime Video May 14. Check out a poster below.

underground railroad poster

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